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  1. #1
    DIY Member idoc4u's Avatar
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    Question start up question

    Please see photo for explanation clarity.

    I would like to start up my irrigation system, but cannot figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have the valve open in the basement leading to the "bell" you see in the photo. I have the valves that look like straight screw driver screw heads closed, the spigot valves are closed, the valves located in the valve boxes for the irrigation system are open.

    When I open the valve with the blue handle which should allow water to pass into the irrigation system from the main, the water bubbles out of the top of the "bell."

    I must not be opening the correct valves.

    It's behaving as if the water goes into the irrigation lines, they fill up and then the water comes out of the overflow.

    Could someone give me some assistance with getting my system charged back up?

    Thank you in advance for the help.
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  2. #2
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
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    When you open shut off no.1 (the ball valve with the blue handle) do you open it fast or slow? This is not a trick question. You should always open and close water valves slowly to avoid any water hammer...EXCEPT for opening this one. When you open it, you should snap it open to allow the water to hit the seat hard enuough to seal it. If you open it slowly there is a chance that it will not seal. You might have to try it a couple of times. The rubber has been dry all winter and the plastics might need a little coaxing to start movement.

    I don't mean to sound like a PITA, but.....In your picture you don't show shut off no.2. Is there a shut off no.2? You need a shut off no.2 to isolate the assembly for testing. As far as I can see, this is a non-approved backflow assembly. This has been modified, as is not how the manufacturer sold it.

    Mick

  3. #3
    DIY Member idoc4u's Avatar
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    Default For Fireguy

    Fireguy, thanks for the reply. I did open the blue handled valve slowly.

    There are only two ball valves. One in the basement leading from the main to the bell and the one leading from the bell to the irrigation system.

    I opened the valve inside and then went outside and slowly opened the blue handled valve. I could hear water filling and then overflowed out the top of the bell.

    Should I close the valve inside, open the outside and then go back and open the inside valve?

    You are not being a PITA, I appreciate your input and assistance!

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Back flow devices should be tested by a certified inspector annually. My city requires it, and failure to do so will result in the water being turned off. The city inspects and tests the first time, then it is the homeowners responsibility to contact an approved inspector from a list supplied by the city. Cost here is $35 plus any parts needed. I've got an inspector that contacts me each spring and sets an appointment time. Operating a defective BF can contaminate the city water supply as well as your house water. And no, you can not test it yourself, it requires expensive testing equipment and training to be certified.

  5. #5
    DIY Member idoc4u's Avatar
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    I am not looking to test my system. I would like to start it up for the first time this spring. I had a professional blow out the irrigation system last fall and the rep explained to me that to start up the system in the spring all I would need to do is turn the valve on in the house and outside.

    I opened valves as instructed and I found that water back flowed out of the top of the bell. To me, this suggests that a valve is closed somewhere that should not be closed. I am not certain and thought I'd ask for some direction here.

    I'm not concerned about the money to charge the system in the spring, the charge-up process was explained in a very straight forward manner and it didn't seem like it would be rocket science, until I turned the valves on and the water came out the top of the bell as described above.

    Just looking for advice or a link to assist in how to properly charge the system for the first time this spring. Thanks again.......

  6. #6
    Irrigation Contractor Fireguy97's Avatar
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    You should get your Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PRV) tested. It should be tested at least once a year. Check with your municipality or Water District for your specific regulations.

    Close the blue shutoff. Leave the one in the basement open. With a slotted screwdriver open the two test ports on the side for a second or two to drain the PRV. Close them. Open the blue ball valve quickly.


    This is what the PRV is supposed to look like. Yours is not a certified unit. To be legal, you need to have two ball valves on the unit. Gary is correct in stating that it is possible that your water can be shut off if you don't get your PRV fixed and tested. Again check with your Water District.

    http://www.wattscanada.ca/pages/view....asp?imgId=920
    Mick
    Last edited by Fireguy97; 05-03-2010 at 07:13 PM.

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